Does the Perfect State exist?
A short while ago, I was speaking with a client about the ‘perfect job’ and how to get it. We originally worked together to help her change career, and during our discussions, we uncovered that there were more elements at play.
I have come across this many times. An individual can believe that the cause of their unhappiness is one particular thing (potentially their job/career) and during exploration, like archeology, we unearth hidden gems.
The gems can all be contributing to the current state. The job may simply be the final straw, the tipping point, that brings an individual down. By working on the contributors individually, the Perfect State can be in reach.
Like the ‘is the jar full’ story, there are so many things that are contributing to the whole. And until things are separated out and reviewed, they are not always obvious.
In doing so, we discovered that the perfect job was only part of the quest. That the Perfect State was more obtainable and controllable. And, unlike I thought in the past, the Perfect State equals happiness, and happiness is yours to control.
Tips to reach the Perfect State
- Break down the contributors
No two people’s lives are the same. Each of us have contributors in common, such as a job, a home, family, our own health. But there may be others that are a large part of your life that are less common, such as a particular hobby, a sport or other.
Writing down a list of these big ticket items will help to separate out the contributors. There may even be multiple layers relating to some. For example, the home may break down into maintenance and renovation.
Take your time to make sure this list is right and detailed enough before heading to the next step. You can always further detail later on if you discover extra contributors you have forgotten or become more important.
Contributors can change through the year or as a result of life events. Some become more important than others, or completely new ones land without warning and can take over completely, such as the loss of a job.
- Rate the contributors in the Current State
Now take each contributor and rate it out of 10 according to how it is performing in your current state, 1 being poor and 10 being excellent.
You can put the contributors onto a wheel and add markers along lines from the edge of the wheel (10) to the centre (1) and you would end up with a ‘web’ if you joined the performance of each contributor together, as in the image below from toolshero.
There are other ways to map this out and you may prefer to do it differently (placing each on a single scale for example). However you choose to do it, you will then have a visual representation of how your contributors are affecting your life and if there is any strong bias towards some rather than others.
This has to be done honestly and fairly across all contributors to work properly. You do not have to share this with anyone else, it is yours and yours only. So be as truthful as possible.
- Rate the contributors for the Perfect State
Your Perfect State is very personal, much the same as the range of contributors, and therefore how each should be performing in your Perfect State is a matter of choice. To perform at a level 10 across all contributors is not ideal as it is not realistic. There needs to be a balance.
Some of the bigger and most important contributors will need to perform higher than some of those smaller contributors. It could be that the smaller ones can happily tick along at a 5, and that is all that is required for that particular element. This allows room for focus on the bigger contributors.
- Gather ideas for improving the contributors ratings
By now you will have the current and Perfect State ‘images’ of each contributor.
Taking each in turn, make a list of things that could be done to boost them to an ideal performance to reach the Perfect State.
For example, when looking at a relationship, it may be that once a month you can have a no phones / distractions meal.
A family may choose a similar thing or at least one day out together.
You may want to improve your performance at work and identify a training course you wish to attend.
Give yourself lots of options, you may deploy some initially and come back to others, depending on how much the performance needs to improve and the priority (which we’ll come to).
- Build a plan to close the gaps
Now that you have ideas for each contributor, and the gap in performance, add in the ideas you wish to use first to close the gap.
You can keep a log of all the others for use in future and this can be expanded as you go along.
In some cases you may wish to test out the easier options first to see an incremental change. For other contributors only a big and hard hitting action will do.
- Prioritise the contributors to the Perfect State
Now rank the contributors as to which you will work on first, which are second and so on. This is your journey so you can have as many or as few in each stage.
Be mindful not to overload yourself at the start, those smaller actions can help build confidence and momentum.
You also have to continue in your current state, keeping everything going, so be realistic!
If you need help from others to work on some of the improvements, let them know what you are doing and why, they may join in and do the same exercise. This could mean you have to assess the contributors together and have joint goals as well as personal goals.
However it works out, be sure to set yourself up for some quick wins and allow space to assess how things are at intervals to see if priorities need adjusting.
How to maintain the Perfect State
As with anything in life, good intentions can be affected by outside forces. A work demand may suddenly become the top priority, or a family situation may change and need attention.
There is definitely an art in keeping a balance on your Perfect State. And you must forgive yourself if some days things are not as perfect as you would wish. That’s life!
Below are some ideas you can use to help you keep that Perfect State in check:
- Happy anchors
I talk to Happy Anchors a lot and find them immensely effective. These are things you can do / have around you to restore a happy foundation. They are hugely important to maintaining a Perfect State as they can bring you back to that grounding quickly and effectively.
Here are some ideas:
A beautiful plant on your desk at work – it continues to grow and look amazing despite what might be going on around it.
A favourite photo on your phone – always available to remind you of a loved one, a funny moment or somewhere you’d rather be!
A song you can play – sing along like no one is listening!
A favourite food to give yourself some happiness on the inside 🙂
Some inspirational quotes that resonate with you.
Treasured trinkets from moments in time that spark fond memories, like the ticket to a concert you went to that was simply mind blowing.
- Success Log
Much like a happy anchor, a list of your successes can also help as a reference to boost your mood. The successes can be anything that you are proud of. Little wins or huge great big ones.
You can add as much or as little detail as you wish in order to remind you in future as to why this success is on your log.
You could add a title, date, rating, any contributors it has affected, the result, any lessons you learned and any changes you want to make as a result.
Have fun with the Success Log, it can be very entertaining to reread them, providing confidence, boosting willpower and driving further successes in future.
- Daily / Weekly Assessment
It is important to stop and admire the view on any long journey, to look back and see how far you have come and to look forward as to what is coming next.
The points on the journey you chose to assess this past and future view, are entirely up to you and the time you want to spend doing it.
Some will do this daily, some weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. I would suggest the regularity should be sufficient to be able to remember the part of the journey you are assessing and not to miss any lessons you have learned or any advantage you can take in the next part.
However you do this, and whatever form it takes, ensure it works for you. That it is something you enjoy and can look forward to. It will ensure you can maintain the process and it stays effective.
What is Perfect anyway?
If we think in terms of a definition, perfect is:
‘Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be’.
In ‘quality’ terms, it would be something free from faults, flawless, exactly as it should be.
So I would conclude that the Perfect State is a moment, hour, day or other time period where everything is as good as it can be right then. You are happy, balanced and your heart is full. Of course times like this can always be better, but, if the foundations are good, I believe we can count it as perfect.
Consider also that the Perfect State doesn’t have to be a huge great moment. It can be time when all contributors are where they should be at that moment in time, everything is under control and there is nothing tipping the balance.
My 6 stage plan
My tried and tested 6 stage programme was built based on my own experience moving roles within an organisation. The programme takes you through stages of knowing yourself, assessing your ‘current state’, looking towards a ‘future state’ (your Perfect State) and then assessing the steps and planning how to close the gap, in much the same way as I described in this blog.
By knowing yourself, building the confidence to reach out to those who can help influence your success, leaving no possibility ignored, no stone unturned and nothing to chance, YOU are working on yourself. You are showing the universe what you want and you are not leaving it to chance that it will be delivered.
So you can see the connection with working on your Perfect State and how this is deeply woven into the fabric of the programme.
The beauty of this programme is that you can use it to guide you through the points in this blog, to be happier at the core of everything you do, and be the sunshine in your own day.
If you are looking to build that Perfect State, why not get in touch, and use my programme as your guide. Allow me to help fast track you to this positive, confident and happy place I now find myself in.
Let’s get you started on the 6 steps to success!